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Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 79o 0.00' East  27o 5.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 525 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Saman Bird Sanctuary is located near village Saman in Karhal tehsil of Mainpuri district. It was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1990 by a gazette notification. The sanctuary is a natural rainfed oxbow lake of approximately 525 ha, that dries up in summer. The wetland attracts large numbers of migratory birds in winter, while resident bird fauna are seen all the year round. The site is important for large wintering waterfowl congregations. There are eight villages inside the Sanctuary and several along the periphery. Nelumbo is found on the entire waterbody, along with a highly diverse group of hydrophytic vegetation which includes Cyperus, Phragmites and Typha. There has been no study of the flora in this Sanctuary. About 100 years ago, Saman jheel, along with Lakh-Bahosi (an IBA) in nearby Farrukhabad district, and other jheels formed an important habitat for the Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus. The great ornithologist A. O. Hume saw Siberian Cranes in many jheels in Etawah and Mainpuri districts between 1858 and 1867. Saman could have been one of the important sites, although Hume did not mention it by name. The name ‘Tuman’ jheels (26°46’ N and 79°02’ E) is referred by Wilkinshaw, where W. E. Brooks shot three Siberian Cranes in February 1871. It appears that Tuman is none other than Saman jheel (Rahmani and Arora, 1992).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Saman jheel is famous for congregation of waterbirds during winter. Three to five breeding pairs of Sarus crane Grus antigone are resident in the Sanctuary. In January 2001, waterfowl census revealed more than 1500 Common Teal Anas crecca, 6,000 to 10,000 Northern Pintail Anas acuta, 30,000 Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica, and 200 Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus (V. P. Singh, pers. comm. 2003). Many of these species occur in far greater numbers than their 1% biogeographic population threshold determined by Wetlands International (2002), so the site fits A4i criteria also. A heronry on a large Ficus tree has around 150 nests of Blackcrowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, with several nests of egrets Egretta spp. and Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii. A breeding pair of Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus and one or two Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga are regularly found in the Sanctuary.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Being a wetland and entirely surrounded by anthropogenically modified countryside, there are no large mammals of conservation concern in the area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Whistling-duck Dendrocygna javanica 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2003 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (agricultural use) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Saman Sanctuary 525 is identical to site 525  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Forest Department
rangeland/pastureland -
Notes: Private lands and Village Panchayat

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani and K. S. Gopi Sunder.


Rahmani, A. R. and Arora, V. M. (1992) Wetlands of Uttar Pradesh – Part 2. Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 32 (5&6): 5-6.

Wetlands International (2002) Waterbird Population Estimates – Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, The Netherlands.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Saman Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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